Appendix: Miscellaneous 1559

Pages 658-659

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7, 1558-1580. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1890.

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Miscellaneous 1559

1559. Nov. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 2. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Signory.
Ser Prainer, who is now in England upon the negotiations for the marriage between the Queen of England and the Archduke Charles, has lately sent here a gentleman by name Federico da Coloredo, who, from what I can learn, has informed the Emperor that her Majesty, when discussing the question with the Bishop of Aquila the Ambassador of the Catholic King at her Court, showed great anxiety that the Archduke should go in person to England, and urged that if she had to take a husband, it was at least reasonable that she should see him before acceptance, and that if the character of the man pleased her, many difficulties would easily be removed; and therefore she earnestly desired that the Archduke should come, if not in state, at least “incognito.” Coloredo also reports that some of the Ladies of the Queen's Court were surprised that so much trouble should be taken to bring about this marriage, and that the Archduke should have never sent any token of love for presentation to the Queen. Consequently the Emperor, considering, independently of other reasons, that the desire of the Queen that the Archduke should visit her was not so much on account of her wish to see him, because his portrait taken from life has been sent to her, as to exact some mark of reverence, has forthwith and in haste sent Coloredo to England with orders to join the Count of Helfenstein, who is accredited to the Queen as his Imperial Majesty's Ambassador for this negotiation, and to give him a commission to excuse the Archduke's presence, and to add that if her Majesty should desire to know more of the Archduke's personal qualities than his portrait would show, she ought to send hither some individual in whom she had entire confidence, and who, after seeing the Archduke and spending some time with him, might more minutely give all necessary information to her Majesty. Hitherto no further answer has been received, but I am advised that the negotiation is in such a condition that there is almost a certain hope that it will be carried out, and at the Court the marriage is much discussed, and many persons are applying for permission to accompany the Archduke to England. Coloredo has further reported that the Queen preserved her exceeding beauty, and he has brought her portrait; and also states that she lives a life of magnificence and festivity such as can hardly be imagined, and occupies a great portion of her time with balls, banquets, hunting, and similar amusements with the utmost possible display; but nevertheless she insists upon far greater respect being shown to her than was exacted by the late Queen Mary; and although she has summoned Parliament, she has nevertheless ordered that her commands are to be executed notwithstanding that these may be contrary to the will of Parliament itself.
Coloredo also reports that the affairs of religion are in a worse condition than ever, and that all ceremonies are abolished, and all statues destroyed.
Vienna, 7th November 1559.
Nov. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 3. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Signory.
The gentleman who lately arrived from England has communicated to the Emperor the desire of the Queen that the Archduke Charles should proceed to England, and I have spoken with an individual who has seen letters written by the representatives of his Imperial Majesty in England, stating that if his Highness would go thither without delay the marriage would be arranged at once. But the Emperor will not, under any circumstances, consent to the Archduke's departure, and has again despatched to England the above-mentioned gentleman with the same instructions which were given to Coloredo, namely, that if the portrait which was sent to the Queen failed to satisfy her, then she should send hither some confidential agent who might obtain for her more particular information.
This gentleman also reports that the son of the King of Sweden still remains at the English Court, and is endeavouring to bring about a marriage between her Majesty of England and his eldest brother, and that he spares no expense to this effect; and although the Queen does not appear to show him much favour, her real intention is by no means certain, but when the Count of Helfenstein, who has been accredited by the Emperor as his Ambassador for this purpose, has arrived, it is hoped that some final decision will be come to.
Vienna, 22nd November 1559.